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VOL. 130 | NO. 189 | Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Daily Digest

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Brooks Museum Unveils Free Wednesdays

The Memphis Brooks Museum of Art is kicking off new hours in October that include a full free day every Wednesday.

The museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays, providing 10 hours of free access to everything the museum offers. Some of the museum’s ticketed evening programming, including Brooks Films, will also move to Wednesdays starting in October.

In addition to new hours, the Brooks also is making more changes in preparation for its 2016 centennial. They include a new welcome experience, including improvements to the rotunda such as a new welcome desk. The Brooks team also is working to rearrange and enhance the presentation of the museum’s permanent collection, a 9,000-piece collection spanning 4,500 years.

Initiatives including new paint, updated flooring and the repositioning of the permanent collection, as well as the reintroduction of pieces that have been in storage. Among other changes, the Brooks is relaunching its website in November.

– Andy Meek

Komen Race for the Cure Finalizes Downtown Course

The Memphis-MidSouth Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, slated for Oct. 31, has finalized the route for its first Downtown 5K race, certified by the Road Running Technical Council.

Starting and finishing at AutoZone Park, the route will lead more than 15,000 participants to Front Street, passing the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law and Raymond James tower. It then will continue to Riverside Drive and up Beale Street, passing Beale Street Landing, The Orpheum Theatre, the new Hard Rock Cafe and BB King’s Blues Club.

A glimpse of South Main is included between Talbot and Huling, showcasing the new Stock & Belle retail store and restaurants such as South of Beale and Spindini. The race will continue down the newly dedicated BB King Boulevard and around FedExForum, with the final stretch passing The Peabody.

Komen Memphis-MidSouth executive director Elaine Hare said it’s not too late to join in.

“Whether as a racer, donor, sponsor, or restaurateur, all are welcome to participate in the first-ever Downtown Race for the Cure experience this October,” Hare said in a statement.

Parking information for participants is available at downtownmemphis.com.

In addition, special rates for race participants are available at Downtown hotels – including The Peabody, DoubleTree and Residence Inn – through Wednesday, Sept. 30.

For details and race registration, visit komenmemphis.org.

– Daily News staff

Memphis-Based EdR Sees Strong Leasing Season

Memphis-based EdR, which owns, develops and manages collegiate housing across 23 states, saw a strong 2015-16 lease term with a total rental revenue growth of 3.8 percent over last year.

The 2015-16 lease term opened with 97 percent occupancy compared with 96.6 percent last year.

Same-community net rental rates increased 3.4 percent, a result of EdR’s strong same-community growth trend. Over the past five years, EdR generated a same-community compounded annual revenue growth rate of 3.9 percent.

“And with favorable supply trends in our markets for 2016, the backdrop for the next leasing cycle remains favorable,” said Christine Richards, executive vice president and chief operating officer in a statement.

– Madeline Faber

Early Vote Tops 23,000 Through Second Weekend

More than 23,000 Memphians had voted early through Saturday, Sept. 26, in advance of the Oct. 8 Memphis election day.

The 23,614 early voters, as reported by the Shelby County Election Commission, represent 6 percent of the city’s 395,336 voters.

At the same point in early voting in the 2011 Memphis elections, 14,343 had cast ballots, marking an increase of 65 percent. At the same point in 2007, 26,861 had cast early votes.

More than 22 percent of the 2015 early vote so far is among voters in the Midtown-East Memphis City Council District 5, followed by 16.9 percent in District 6, which is made up of Whitehaven and southwest Memphis.

The early voting period continues through Saturday, Oct. 3.

– Bill Dries

Study Examines Effectiveness Of Tennessee’s Pre-K Program

Gov. Bill Haslam said Monday that he’s still supportive of Tennessee’s pre-kindergarten program despite a study that shows academic gains made by some of the children enrolled fade in early elementary grades.

The five-year study, a coordinated effort between Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education and Human Development and the Tennessee Department of Education, found that children in the state program made greater gains on a range of early achievement measures than comparable peers who did not attend pre-K.

However, by the end of kindergarten, the study found that children who were not in the program had caught up and there were no longer significant differences between the two groups. By second grade, the academic performance of both groups of children had flattened out and began to lag below national norms, according to the study. The latest round of results shows that this trend has continued through the third grade.

“We’re pretty stunned looking at these data and have a lot of questions about what might be going on in the later grades that doesn’t seem to be maintaining, if not accelerating, the positive gains the ... attendees made in pre-K,” said Mark Lipsey, director of the Peabody Research Institute, and a professor in the Department of Human and Organizational Development at Peabody.

Haslam told reporters following an event in Nashville Monday that he hasn’t had a chance to thoroughly examine the data, but that “K-12 is an area that I would like for us to put more dollars into.”

– The Associated Press

Whole Foods to Cut About 1,500 Jobs in Next 8 Weeks

Grocery chain Whole Foods is cutting about 1,500 jobs over the next eight weeks as it looks to lower prices and keep up with competition.

The cuts represent about 1.6 percent of its workforce.

But Whole Foods Market Inc. said in a regulatory filing on Monday that many of the reductions will come through attrition. It anticipates workers whose jobs are cut will find other jobs from the almost 2,000 open positions across the company or from new jobs that’ll be created by more than 100 new stores in development.

Whole Foods said it has added more than 9,000 jobs in the past year and nearly 35,000 jobs over the last five years.

Whole Foods was recently hurt by bad publicity when New York City officials found it was overcharging customers. New York City’s Department of Consumer Affairs said that Whole Foods stores were overstating the weight of some pre-packaged products, like chicken tenders and a vegetable platter. Whole Foods has said that it is taking steps to prevent overcharging, including training for workers and a pledge to give away products if customers discover they were overcharged.

The company has also been facing intense competition, with the organic offerings it’s known for becoming more widely available.

It’s trying to appeal to a broader audience, with plans to open a new chain of “365” stores with lower prices.

– The Associated Press

Apple Sells 13 Million New iPhones in 3 Days

Apple says it sold more than 13 million iPhone 6s and 6s Plus phones in the three days since its iPhone launch, topping last year’s early sales mark.

Apple sold 10 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models during their first weekend last year. This year’s results include sales in China which was included in the initial launch for the first time.

Apple said previously that preorders were so strong that it expected to surpass last year’s record.

PiperJaffray analyst Gene Munster said results came in at the high end of his expectations for sales of 12 million to 13 million. He estimates China added about 2 million in sales.

“Today’s news suggests the iPhone 6 cycle is off to a good start,” he wrote.

The new models have more memory and faster processors, along with a new 12 megapixel camera, and start at $649. Apple and wireless service providers are also offering leasing and monthly installment plans.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 124 481 17,865
MORTGAGES 127 530 20,565
BUILDING PERMITS 195 891 36,836
BANKRUPTCIES 52 262 11,426